Inside the Bogotá Clásico | Part 2: The Rise & Fall of Narco-Football
Here is part two of the four part series Pete did on the Bogotá Clasico for NTN24 while he was working in Colombia. It focuses on the development of the game in Colombia during the reign of Narco leaders such as Pablo Escobar, the Rodríguez Orejula brothers and José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha.
With their drug money, these cartel bosses pumped millions of dollars into their respective clubs, bringing titles, talent and by 1994, a #4 FIFA world ranking for Los Cafeteros.
However, once the government started to clamp down on drug running, the quality of Colombian clubs fell, as did the status of the national team.
After years of corruption and poor structure, the government once again got involved in 2010 to clean up the sport. Now, clubs are exploring cleaner revenue streams, focusing on commercial opportunities rather than back-room deals and cartel connections. And two of the clubs leading that charge just happen to be the subject of the Bogotá Clasico: Millonarios and Independiente Santa Fe.